Thursday, 8 October 2015

Neck on the block and skin in the game

A comment on an earlier post got me thinking about opinions and criticising of others's opinions. There is an asymmetry in the situation.  I for instance find writing a blog post a lot more challenging than merely commenting on a point in the blog of another writer.

The same holds for actions.  Pertinent to this blog, the actions of CCP developers and the criticism thereof by players and bloggers.

Criticism I find is easy - being the originator of a semi coherent and even vaguely interesting topic/game feature is much more taxing.

That is not to say that we should not be criticised for what we write (or the game feature's we implement). On the contrary.  Your author is all too well aware of the need for criticism - he is wrong more often than not. Until his wife recently (and lovingly!) pointed his short comings out to him, he was totally oblivious to the true state of affairs.  Who knows, had she not done so, he could have been blissfully unaware of his foolishness for many more years!

This is why criticism should be welcomed - in the words of Scot Adams (the creator of Dilbert cartoons):

"Realistically, most people have poor filters for sorting truth from fiction, and there’s no objective way to know if you’re particularly good at it or not. Consider the people who routinely disagree with you. See how confident they look while being dead wrong? That’s exactly how you look to them."

I am a big fan of comments. In the (anonymous) comment a lot of value can be gotten. It is within this distant relationship or the safety of anonymity that the real truth often emerges. This more than anything is why I would like to keep the comments section on this blog open and anonymous. *

Besides that, criticism should be allowed for the entertainment value. Whether it is in the comments section - or one blogger responding to another.

I found the recent interchange between Talvorian Dex and Gevlon totally fascinating. Not to say who is wrong and who is right but fabulous entertainment - especially when digging into the respective comments sections as well.  Both Tal and Gevlon are very active in interacting in their comments section - good on you both sirs!

Another slightly more tongue in cheek exchange was that by Neville Smith trolling ok, it was a troll with Rixx Javix regarding warp core stabilisers.  If I had enough energy for trolling the good fight I would counter Rixx with a campaign to remove warp scramblers/disrupter's if he wants to remove warp core stabilisers ;-)

Of course this can be used for good and for bad - an example of good use is that of Sugar Kyle in her recent blog series starting with taboo-questions - dealing with highsec and changes people want to see.  What a wonderful initiative - kudo's to her and all the responders (94 comments!) alike!  Double kudo's to her for doing the extremely hard work of distilling all that information into something useful.

Which brings me to the real point of this bog post.

Criticising is good when you believe someone is making a mistake. Trolling is good when you do it in a nice way for entertainment (of all a la Neville above).  Being constructive is best of all, but also happens to be infinitely harder to do. This is what puts your neck on the block and your skin in the game.  This opens your up your efforts, to scrutiny for all to tear apart or praise.

If you happen to fall in the last category - for whatever it is worth, respect to you from this humble author - whilst he is not bright enough to achieve much himself, he likes to think that he is (just) bright enough to appreciate constructive achievements when he sees it.

* Open and anonymous comments can be abused - where this blog is concerned all I can say is so far so good.  Only a handful of very pleasant comments were posted. Maybe I am naive and it is merely because this blog is not that widely read, but I hope it keeps.

1 comment:

  1. My muse is marinating on the Taboo thread... whatever is forthcoming from me (actually from it, the 'muse' thing that lives inside my head) in that regard you will know about in just the time it take for it to take over my fingers and do the typing, IE shortly after I find out....

    But, on the comments... never lose faith. I have been ploddingly yet erratically blogging for going on 5 years now... and I have only had to delete one comment in all that time. And that one was a completely off topic, juvenile, vitriolic and highly personal attack on myself from a player who... well...

    Let's just say I care "immeasurably" more about Vince Snetterton's opinions than anything that player thinks about me or anything at all... so no loss at all.